USS West Virginia (SSBN-736)
|Namesake:||The State of West Virginia|
|Ordered:||21 November 1983|
|Builder:||General Dynamics Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut|
|Laid down:||24 December 1987|
|Launched:||14 October 1989|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. Erma Byrd|
|Commissioned:||20 October 1990|
|Homeport:||Kings Bay, Georgia|
|Motto:||Montani Semper Liberi
("Mountaineers are Always Free")
|Nickname:||The Silent Mountaineer|
|Status:||in active service, as of 2014[update]|
|Class & type:||Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine|
|Displacement:||16,764 metric tons (16,499 long tons) surfaced
18,750 metric tons (18,450 long tons) submerged
|Length:||560 feet (170 m)|
|Beam:||42 ft (13 m)|
|Draft:||38 feet (12 m)|
|Propulsion:||1xS8G PWR nuclear reactor
2x geared turbines
1x325 hp (242 kW) auxiliary motor
1 shaft @ 60,000 shp (45 MW)
|Speed:||Greater than 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)|
|Test depth:||Greater than 800 feet (240 m)|
USS West Virginia (SSBN-736) is a United States Navy Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine which has been in commission since 1990. She is the third U.S. Navy ship to be named for West Virginia, the 35th state, and the 11th of 18 Ohio-class submarines.
Construction and commissioning
The contract to build West Virginia was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut, on 21 November 1983 and her keel was laid down there on 24 December 1987. She was launched on 14 October 1989, sponsored by Mrs. Erma Byrd, wife of United States Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, and commissioned on 20 October 1990, with Captain J. R. Harvey in command of the Blue Crew and Captain Donald McDermott in command of the Gold Crew.
|This section requires expansion with: History needed for 1990-2008.. (December 2009)|
On 29 December 2008, Captain Daniel Mack, commander of Submarine Squadron 16/20, relieved West Virginia 's commanding officer, Commander Charles "Tony" Hill, of command "due to a loss of confidence" in Hill 's ability to command. Captain Stephen Gillespie was assigned as West Virginia 's temporary commanding officer.
In September 2010 the approximate 300 Sailors assigned to the two crews that alternate patrols on West Virginia merged into one crew of about 110 sailors during the overhaul and refueling, which was done at the Norfolk Navy Shipyard (NNSY) in Norfolk, Virginia, beginning in early 2011. Commander Adam D. Palmer relieved Commander Steven K. Hall as commanding officer of West Virginia during a change of command ceremony 9 September at Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia.
On 24 October 2013, West Virginia departed Norfolk Naval Shipyard after a thirty month refuel and overhaul. On 3 November 2013 she returned to her homeport of Kings Bay, Georgia.
West Virginia 's Blue and Gold crew members regularly return to the state of West Virginia to participate in parades, community service projects and initiatives. West Virginia's commissioning crew established a relationship with the West Virginia Children's Home (WVCH) in 1990. WVCH Director Carson Markley, who attended the ship's commissioning, appreciates the special bond between the ship and the WVCH.
"The children at the West Virginia Children's Home have generally been neglected, abused and feel that no one cares for them. The crew of USS West Virginia almost immediately, upon arriving at the home, began to show concern and a real understanding for not just a few, but all the kids they come into contact with," said Markley.
West Virginia in fiction
- In Tom Clancy's 1994 novel Debt of Honor, West Virginia is one of several submarines sent to deal with a Japanese invasion of the Northern Mariana Islands. She is used as a "slow-attack" submarine, relying on her stealthiness and her torpedo tubes in combating Japanese forces.
- "Ohio-class SSGN-726". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
- Frost, Peter. "Newport News contract awarded". Daily Press. Retrieved 2011-09-27.(subscription required)
- "Submarine Frequently Asked Questions". Chief of Naval Operations Submarine Warfare Division. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
- Tighman, Andrew (4 January 2009). "Boomer CO fired over personnel problems". Military Times.
- "USS West Virginia Combines Crews". Navy News Service. 17 September 2010. NNS100917-07.
- Copeland, Kevin (14 September 2011). "USS West Virginia Changes Command". The Periscope.
- Clifford, MCS1 Kimberly (1 August 2010). "West Virginia Supports Her Namesake". Navy News Service. NNS100110-01.
- This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.
- Photo gallery of USS West Virginia at NavSource Naval History